Biology Game of Thrones: Can dragons fly? And breathe fire?

Since the "Game of Thrones" shows itsLast season, the herpetologist (as the zoology specialists of amphibians and reptiles are called), Rachel Keeff answered many questions of interest to people related to the fauna of the world of ice and fire. Are Daneir dragons the size of a Boeing 747, and if so, how do they even get off the ground? If the dragons are cold blooded, can they move north of the wall? Is it possible to explain the biology of dragons from the point of view of real science? Let's figure it out.

How are the dragons?

Kiff explores reptiles and amphibians at the Florida Museum of Natural History and at the Faculty of Biology at the University of Florida.

Please tell us that dragons can be real.

Unfortunately, no, we have no evidencethe existence of dragons on this planet. But we have evidence of the existence of very steep extinct animals that looked like dragons, but did not have six limbs and did not breathe fire. Alas.

So which creature will be closest to the dragon?

I think pterosaur. They fly, they are reptiles, they have patterns on their heads and they are just very cool. I think this is the closest thing.

Let's imagine that I don't know what a pterosaur is ...

Imagine pterodactyl. This is an extinct pedigree of flying reptiles, and although many people link them together, they are not dinosaurs; they have their own kind. The largest of them, standing on all four legs, was the size of a giraffe. Quite a dragon.

Let's pro dragons "Game of thrones." Can cold-blooded reptiles actually go north of the wall?

I think it is possible, yes. There are amphibians that carry frost. Siberian newt and tree frog, they have antifreeze proteins in the blood, so they are able to freeze almost completely and thaw, feeling great afterwards. These are not warm-blooded animals, but they are able to tolerate freezing. But the dragons, you see, they are more likely still warm-blooded, because they breathe fire.

Wait, you say that Drogon, Reigal and Vizerion can be warm-blooded like us?

Something as big as dragonsof thrones ”should be warm-blooded. At a minimum, the fact that you have all these muscles and all these organs that work, means that you have to generate your own heat. Once, paleontologists argued on this topic in connection with giant sauropod dinosaurs - they believed that they should be warm-blooded by default because of their size. In addition, we are dealing with an active predator, which moves fast and has a high metabolism and a lot. This all requires a warm-blooded body.

Speaking of size: are there animals that continue to grow throughout life, like these dragons?

Many reptiles have the so-called indefinitegrowth that is different from the growth of mammals, which at a certain point cease to grow, because they will not be able to support themselves if they become larger. This does not apply to snakes and turtles. Not that they grow at the same rate throughout their lives, but yes, they continue to grow steadily.

Can they become as big as a Boeing 747?

I do not think that this is possible. The largest animal that ever existed, extinct or alive, is a blue whale. The reason for its size is that it lives in the ocean, therefore its weight is supported by a column of water. If you pull a blue whale ashore, it will not survive, because it will not be able to maintain its own weight. Therefore, if you take an astronomical Drogon, his legs will simply break due to the structural limitations of the bone. Even if he had a steel skeleton, he would still be too heavy to fly.

Even hypothetically, if the bones do not crunch, withIn such sizes, the animal will constantly eat - especially endothermic and with a high metabolism. I don’t know if there are enough people in the Game of Thrones to feed such an animal.

And there will be a lot of excrement too. I do not know how Deyneris cope with all this.

Which option would be more close to reality?

Flying animal with a 15-meter wingspan- such in nature is quite possible. The largest flying animal was Quetzalcoatl, a pterosaur with such a wingspan. But he weighed only 200 kilograms, as far as we know.

Winged reptiles do not exist, but there areflying lizards, such as Draco volans, which means "flying dragon." This animal essentially lengthened its ribs so that they went out on the sides and straps formed between them. Usually they are pressed to the sides, but if you need to fly to another tree, the dragon soars and soars, quite well.

There are also flying snakes that are amazing. Many people do not know that snakes fly. Another frog fly.

What about fire breath? And if we assume that dragons can produce flames, how can they not burn their own mouths?

There are no real animals thatwould endure fire or be protected from flame. There are animals that can tolerate extremely high temperatures — like those of hydrothermal vents — but this is not fire. So even if there are animals that tolerate extremely high temperatures, there was still no animal that can withstand the effects of an open flame. But again, maybe some flame retardant slime or dragons spit out flames, like stuntmen, so it doesn’t touch their mouths.

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There are also other animals that canspit things out of your body. There are lizards that can shoot blood from their eyes, and there is a Strophurus gecko that can spit out mucus from the tail. She's not poisonous or something. Just frightening. But there is such a thing in nature.

The eggs from which the Deineris dragons hatched are very ancient. Are they able to give life?

Reptile eggs need sometemperature and humidity to remain viable. This is the problem of climate change: animals need a certain temperature for incubation, and if an animal lays eggs in the same place, and there it gets warmer, the eggs become unviable.

Dragon eggs must be stored under certain conditions. Or they should be too well looked after.

Enjoy watching "Game of Thrones."

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